Die deutsche Rezension findet ihr hier
.The review contains spoilers about the other books.
Ethan came back from the dead but is he really … him again? All this happened because of Mallory, though her intentions have never been to fulfil her best friend’s biggest wish. Instead she tried to release evil from the Maleficium to reintroduce the balance of good and bad – Ethan would only have been a means to an end, to increase Mallory’s powers.
They could stop the witch in time, but now she’s on her way again to steal the Maleficium and finish what she started. Her unexpected supporter is Seth Tate who’s still the only one knowing what he actually is. When it comes to a confrontation, things don’t exactly go the way any of them expected them to. However, one thing’s for sure: Chicago is in trouble again, and this time it could cost hundreds of lives.
Just to summarise that shortly: book 4 was a little bit disappointing, but had a promising ending; book 5 raised hopes again and now book 6 ... well. It was awesome.
Again, Chloe Neill introduces new supernatural species, but focuses on only one without forgetting the other ones. You can be sure that there’s a big surprise waiting for you, at least I wouldn’t have suspected what has been revealed. That this also solves one of the bigger riddles in the series is clearly an advantage.
Other things have been handled as before as well: if you expected the writing style and the humour to be as they have been in all the other books, then you expected correctly. Merit didn’t lose her loose tongue despite everything that happened – to the contrary. I already liked her before, but now I want worship her, completely with altar and everything.
There’s a simple reason for that: That woman rocks! Absobloodylutely. Even after his rebirth, Ethan can’t stop being the macho he is, and again he lets his emotions confuse his thoughts, so people have to explain the logical thing to him for him to see the logic in it. He isn’t exactly an unlikable character, I can see why he worries so much and acts the way he does. Plus, in the end he knows what is necessary and has to be done.
He didn’t get his weaknesses to let Merit look better – in this case others would have to act irrationally as well. The young vampiress is no woman without emotions, but she knows to ignore them and use reason when this is required. She also knows that you don’t have to budge every time some man wants something different than you, that you can help them without constantly running after them. She’s always been a strong character, and in “Biting Cold” this gets even clearer. She would have had reason enough to break down: her best friend is addicted to black magic and risks destroying Chicago; her partner stresses her; someone wants to kill her and so on. It would have been easy for the author to just write about poor, poor Merit drowning in self-pity. Instead, Merit keeps a cool head and does something without being emotionless or a Mary Sue.
I think it’s the first time in this series that the tension is on more or less the same level throughout the whole book, only to increase even more at the end.
I have to admit that the plot is a little more linear though by no means flat or easy to guess. There’s just less distraction by political conflicts. They haven’t vanished, but Merit simply has to focus on other things. She can’t escape everything – Darius West for example – but her main responsibility is to ward off the danger. That’s quite logical, too: if she got distracted and everybody would die, there wouldn’t be much sense in politics, would it?
If you’re going to miss the political aspect, don’t worry: at the end of “Biting Cold” we get no clear idea of what to expect in “House Rules”, but it does get obvious that politics will be more important again. There is something really interesting happening on the last pages that doesn’t promise more action, but made me squeal in delight nevertheless.
There are some serious problems heading this way!
“Biting Cold” is the best book of this series for me so far and there’s nothing I would criticize about it. It’s funny and thrilling, has an awesome protagonist whose behaviour is indeed praiseworthy. I’m lucky the books are published every six months; otherwise the waiting would be unbearable.